5 Designers to Remember From Midwest Fashion Week

With the pandemic forcing designers around the world to virtually present their collections, Midwest Fashion Week quickly adapted by hosting an online show featuring Fall/Winter 2021 women's ready-to-wear looks under the creative direction and production of Mariela Sabino.

Founded in 2006 by Berny Martin, Midwest Fashion Week aims to highlight local Haute Couture and ready-to-wear collections. What started as a few events in Indianapolis has inspired other major American cities to establish their own fashion weeks. Most recently, Midwest Fashion Week (MWFW) has supported the Fashion Community Foundation, a nonprofit organization, also founded by Martin, that equips underprivileged youth with fashion industry knowledge and creative skills. With virtual experiences and partnerships based in Paris, New York, Chicago, and Indianapolis, MWFW showcased unique Fall/Winter 2021 collections. Here are the five designers that caught our attention.

1. Masha Titievsky DeHaan - Varyform

Varyform is a contemporary women's line designed by Masha Titievsky DeHaan in Chicago, Illinois that expresses the transformative function of clothing. Glamorous details, metallic elements, color blocks, and curved lines flatter the silhouette and bring elegance to each look. For everyday life, Varyform also offers elevated basics with an undeniable style.

2. Shawna Marino - Shawna M Designs

Shawna M Designs is a Carmel, Indiana-based wedding dress brand focused on timeless elegance and glamor, founded by Shawna Marino after she learned to sew in New York City. The collection focuses on classic elegance and luxury in every detail. From the exquisite lace to the beaded appliques that adorn the dresses, the models embody a uniqueness that is sure to stand out in the crowd.

3. Berny Martin - Catou

After earning a degree in computer technology, Berny Martin finally realized that his real passion had always been fashion. His lifelong dream came true with the launch of Catou in 2005 in Indiana. Now well established, the brand is launching a Fall/Winter 2021 collection inspired by Jamaica and the sounds of ocean waves and local music.

4. Heather Marie Designs

Heather Marie Designs was established in 2013 in South Bend, Indiana, initially with the goal of producing custom clothing. In 2019, the brand reinvented itself by designing luxurious fedoras, thus expanding the essentials of the wardrobe. The new “Covered Bespoke” collection offers oversized hats in captivating colors.

5. Danny Nguyen Couture

Danny Nguyen fell into fashion at a very young age, cutting fabrics and collecting designs under his mother’s wing. His "Emperor's Envy" collection is a show of power despite the chaos. The Byzantine emperors and knights inspired this collection made of hand-painted fabric by artist Johnathan Espinosa.